Last week wasn’t too hot for me but at least I had the Game of the Century of the Week called. In fact, there were so many great games last week, I almost didn’t mind that I did pretty dang poorly in the picks. Well, I hope this week I hit hard on my picks because the slate of games looks pretty dang dry. Let’s see what we got.
Let’s take a look at the big non Big 12 matchup. This week we go out to Pac 12 country and see a relatively unknown head coach (to me) in Todd Graham and his Arizona State Sun Devils head out to play slow and steady Stanford. The Sun Devils got by with some Pac 12 officiating love last week when the barely squeaked by Wisconsin so I’m not sure that Top 25 ranking is worth it. Stanford plays in the same kind of mold as Wisconsin, however, so there could be an upset brewing. The spread is 7.5 so I’ll pick Stanford to win but not to cover.
The Megaphone Trophy is up for grabs when Michigan State heads to Notre Dame. Man alive I have not seen the Spartans play so I can’t tell you how well they will be this weekend. I have watched two Notre Dame games so I have a better handle on that. That handle? Their defense took a step back and Tommy Reese just isn’t a playmaker. The Spartans are undefeated so I’m going to call this one close, but lean with my heart for Notre Dame.
Okay so on the Big 12 slate, we have Louisiana Tech heading to Kansas. Eh, I pull for Kansas one more time but they better not let me down. West Virginia will head to regular foe Maryland and the Terps somehow have the favor. The Mountaineers have turned the corner so I’m picking them. Baylor is just going to roll Louisiana Monroe. When will they get real competition? Texas Tech is turning into a favorite as they are surprisingly 3-0. They get Texas State in Lubbock so they should knock that one out.
Now on to the game of the week, for me at least. It will be the game I will be attending. Kansas State heads to Austin to face the downward spiraling Texas Longhorns. I’ve had this one circled for a couple of months. I’m even hosting some out of town peeps to the event. It should be a blast.
On the Texas side of things. They came in with high expectations to the season like they always do but again crapped their pants. David Ash is now injured and he will probably play in Saturday’s game, coming back from a concussion. Case McCoy will get to play just in case, but he doesn’t have his older brother’s pedigree. I’ve heard talk of Tyrone Swoopes jumping in. The offense is fine, it’s the defense that screwed this team over.
Manny Diaz is out and Greg Robinson, yes that one, is handling the duties for this week’s game. He took over last week and didn’t make any adjustments. I see that changing this week. It’s hard to take over in the middle of the season for any coaching duty. Texas needs to take over the game if they, and subsequently Mack Brown, have any shot of salvaging the season. If they lose to Kansas State, then it’s 1-3 and more than likely no Big 12 title and probably no bowl game.
Kansas State on the other hand, is already rebounding. They were punched in the gut by North Dakota State and have been regaining their composure ever since. The Umass game almost righted the ship but I feel like there’s something missing. Jake Waters finally tossed a couple of touchdowns, but it took Daniel Samms appearance in the second half to spark that offense. It looks like we’ll be seeing that the rest of the year.
On the defensive side of the ball it’s more of a mystery. The bend but don’t break strategy that worked last year is leaning more toward the break side this year. But hey, Kip Daily was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week last week for his two interceptions, with one going for a touchdown. So that’s something to shake a stick at. I just don’t think they’ve been as shut down and I’m way more worried about this side of the ball this weekend.
Then there’s the special teams. And really that’s where Kansas State has an obvious edge. Tyler Lockett and Tremain Thompson are mega fast and they’ve already put up points this year. I haven’t seen anything from Texas.
So between the three phases of the game, Kansas State has the edge in special teams. The other two? It’s a toss up. Really it depends which Texas team shows up Saturday. If they want to play for their coach and man up, it could mean some real trouble for Kansas State. I’m also a little worried about that Swoopes kid. Does Bill Snyder have some schemes up in his sleeve? It would seem that he will and he will probably overthink the game just a bit. It could just be enough.
Texas is the 4.5 favorite. That seems completely fair. If it was 3, then it would be the home field three on a toss up. Notch them up another 1.5 because they are playing for alot more. I don’t think they will play angry. But we’ll see Saturday night. As for my pick, well, I’m going with Kansas State. They’ve beating Texas the last five times and until the Longhorns turn it around I’ll keep picking Kansas State. They have a good chance of turning it around this weekend.